November 15, 2019

On Copywriting

Content for your SaaS business doesn't have to be bland. Give it a little shine! Your customers will love you for it.

On Copywriting

I have a minor in Journalism. Now, that's really nothing to brag about, but hang with me here. The reason I have a minor in journalism is because I wanted to learn how to write.

One of the first classes I took in journalism was team-taught by 2 great teachers. After a week-and-a-half, one of my teachers asked me to stay after class was over.

So, after class, I hung around wondering what was going on. They both came over, sat down... and in a very serious tone, one of the professors said: "I don't think you should be in this class. Your writing isn't very good. And, I think you might be wasting your time. I don't think you will ever get a job as a journalist."

This caught me a little off guard, but I wasn't annoyed at all.

My reply: "Thanks for the consideration. But, I'm not taking this class to become a journalist. I am taking this class to LEARN how to write."

After my reply, both professors looked at each other, then back to me: "We've never heard anyone say that before. You can stay in the class... we're excited to teach you!"

I ended up getting an A- in the class. But what's more, I really did learn a lot about writing. And, writing has helped my career, probably more than anything else.

If You Want Sales, Learn How To Write

Getting customers for any SaaS business is hard. There's a myriad of "things" you need to do to get customers.

So, let's assume you have done the mountainous job of creating a SaaS business.

Well, unfortunately, "if you build it, they will come" does not apply. Customers do not automagically show up to your domain, begging you to take their money. No, they need to get there somehow, someway.

The best case scenario is word-of-mouth. But, if you're just starting out, this is not gonna happen. Sorry Charlie.

Advertising is the best method for getting customers to your website. Advertising encompasses a lot of different things: PPC, Direct Mail, Facebook Ads, Print Ads, et cetera.

Each of these ad channels rely on copywriting to get clicks. Then, if you've done a good job of writing the ad, you need to convert that user, once she lands on your website.

Now, of course you might be able to do this with pictures and video alone... but, probably not. You need content and good copywriting to convert.

Here's a simple heuristic that has helped me in my writing:
1) The headline is there to make you read the subhead.
2) The subhead is there to make you read the first paragraph.
3) The first paragraph is there to help you read the second.
4) Lace your content with open loops.

Copywriting Matters in the User Interface

One of the cool things I did at my last company was use the word "Bro" when talking to users via the UI. People LOVED this!

This is a perfect example of "talking" to your users as you would your friend. So, I find that, within the user interface, if I use plain english, users have an easier time completing their tasks. And, they like the application a lot better.

An error message is a perfect place to write better copy. Now, you might need the error code for debugging, but that doesn't mean you need to make the entire error code jibberish.

For example, you could say: "404 Error. Sorry Bro. Our bad. Click the button below to get back to safety."

Enter Rockstar Copywriting

I just received the most fantastic piece of pure copywriting genius I have seen in a long time.

The piece I'm talking about is a catalog from a company called Shinesty.

The 1st thing that caught my eye was the address on the back:

How brilliant is that! All the content in the catalog is brilliantly written, super clever and smart.

Just for shits and grins, I wanted to preview their 404 page (I'm putting in a screenshot, just in case they change it):

Pure genius.

Now, I understand they're selling silly clothing. I get it. But, why can't you bring a little of their "flare" to your business.

I'm in the middle of writing a ton of website marketing copy for Sagenine: software for lawn and landscape businesses. Thus far, I think the content is pretty good. However, I feel less-than-human after reading Shinesty's content.

Alas, I will persevere. But, I'm going to take the lead of Shinesty. I mean, my headline is:

Kick-Ass Software for Service Businesses